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Govt taking concrete steps to cover revenue shortfall: Dar

Govt taking concrete steps to cover revenue shortfall: Dar

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar has said that the decline in tax base and dutiable imports are disturbing the revenue collection in general.

He told the Upper House while replying to Senator Saleem Mandviwalla’s question regarding shortfall in revenue collection during the current fiscal year.

The federal minister informed the House that revenue collection target for 2013-14 was based on the supposition and just Rs1,946 billion could be collected by the end of June 2013 against the target of Rs2,007 billion.

The country has to bear Rs35 billion revenue shortfall from July to November this year as about Rs807b revenue could be collected in first five month of the current fiscal year against the target of Rs842b projected for the same period. But FBR, in terms of comparison with the previous year’s collection, has witnessed a growth of 17.63 per cent in the said period as Rs686b were collected during the same period last year. The authorities have projected a revenue collection target of Rs2475b for the year 2013-14.

Senator Ishaq Dar said that the government is taking concrete measures to cover the shortfall and achieve the target, adding that these steps include broadening of tax base, rationalisation of SROs and addressing inadmissible input adjustment and illegal refunds in sales tax.

According to data released by FBR, the Board has paid Rs30b refund during the period between July-November 2013 against Rs37b paid during the same period of the previous fiscal year, with a decline of 18.9pc.

Tax wise break up showed income tax collected during July-Nov period of 2013 stood at Rs279b against Rs248b collected during the same months last year, showing an increase of 12.5pc. The sales tax collection reached Rs410b in first five months of the current fiscal year against Rs340b over the corresponding months in 2012, showing an increase of 20.5pc.

Federal Excise Duty collection witnessed a growth of 32.5pc as it reached Rs57b during the period under review as against Rs43bn over the corresponding months of last year. The customs duty collection reached to Rs90b in July-Nov period of the current fiscal year as against Rs92b collected during the same months last year, showing a decline of 2.1pc.

Dar, in a written reply to another question, informed the House that the tax law empowers Federal Board of Revenue to have online access to the bank accounts under Finance Act, 2013 by inserting new section 165A in Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.

He said that through this section, all the banks are bound to give FBR online access to the accounts and all transactions made in the accounts and detail of deposit and credit card payments of more than of Rs1 million and Rs100,000, respectively every month.